A word from the founder:
"Shortly after we moved to our new space at 130 South 17th Street, I was having coffee with a long time friend and customer who has been part of the photo scene in Philly for even longer than I have (longer than 30 years, then). She noted that we now occupy the same space that “The Photography Place” had occupied long ago. I never even heard of that place and was sure she was mistaken. After we parted, she sent me a picture of an original program brochure she had kept all these years and that she has since given me. It’s a beautiful program full of photo classes that would be timely and interesting today. And it listed instructors that went on to head university photo departments and to have impressive art careers (many that we consider friends of PhotoLounge). And finally, The Photography Place was located smack in our space from the mid 70s to early 80s. Where we are the door to the right, they were the door to the left.
When this unfolded I felt compelled to learn everything about this and started to reach out to people who might know. Since then, I was able to meet one of the founders, Stephen Williams, who has since visited the new PhotoLounge and spent a day sharing stories and designing a new critique program that will be launching soon in our new space and online. We absolutely love Stephen and find him to be a true inspiration.
The Photography Place really moved the needle on the photo art scene in Philadelphia for nearly a decade by having very famous photographers from all over come to give talks and workshops. They also had an impressive following for their Wednesday portfolio critique which we look to bring back. They offered wonderful classes. successful gallery. And a big and beautiful darkroom.
This felt so cosmic to me, and I think this has to do with the alignment of their mission long ago with our intentions for this new PhotoLounge space in the present. We designed this space to be public and for the community. And we intend to deliver programming that is enriching to our community and supportive to our members and customers. We’re not a non-profit as they were but have the DNA of one in terms of the values we hold. And so, to learn that we’re inhabiting not just historic bricks but also this legacy, has felt like a sign. And being able to connect that with PhotoLounge is a privilege we wish for all of you to benefit from."